Stimming 101

So Much Stranger, So Much Darker, So Much Madder, So Much Better

What is stimming?

Stimming is self-stimulating behavior that is typically repetitive in nature.

The term stimming was coined by the autistic community to  discuss what is often referred to by professionals as “stereotypy” and described in the DSM-5 as “stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).”

Uh…can you give me some examples?

Sure! Stimming includes a wide range of actions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Hand flapping
  • Rocking
  • Foot tapping
  • Rubbing one’s face
  • Spinning
  • Finger wiggling
  • Repetitive vocalizations
  • Doodling
  • Hair twirling
  • And much more!

Why do people stim?

Lots of reasons! Most of the reasons fall under the following categories:

  • Sensory Regulation: for Autistic people and people with SPD, stimming is a way to provide sensory input to avoid understimulation as well as a way to replace or block out…

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